Carme Martí i Riera


July 5, 2022

Carme Martí i Riera (Sant Quirze de Besora, 24 June 1872 - Sant Vicenç de Montalt, 16 January 1949) was a Catalan seamstress and businesswoman, creator of the Martí patronage system. Daughter of a seamstress, she herself to work as an apprentice in various sewing workshops, at a time when the fabric was cut on the body and many tweaks had to be made. He devised a simple and precise patterning system, the "Sistema Martí", which he patented, and which allowed tailor-made dresses to be made by means of the previous elaboration of adaptable patterns. He also founded the Central Institute of the Martí System, which still exists. , which served to train many seamstresses in this patterning system, providing them with training and professionalism that they had not had until then. The system spread throughout the country and led to the creation of a large number of schools and academies that applied their method. His patronage academy was initially located in Carrer dels Banys Nous in Barcelona, ​​and in 1908, he moved to number 59 on Passeig de Gràcia, while his method of patronage expanded and opened new academies in the city, throughout the country and beyond. Thus, in 1896, there were 13 "court" academies in Barcelona, ​​including that of Carme Martí; two years later, the number of dressmaking academies - not tailoring - was 30 and the following year, in 1899, they were already 43, in a sustained growth that will not stop in the following years.


Author of about fifty works, she published the patronage method El Corte Parisien (1896) and then the Sistema Martí (1896). In 1913 he published the Portfolio of Adjustable Patterns, a regular collection of patterns made with the models of the most prestigious designers in Paris. She is also the author of the book El traje histórico femenino, a history of fashion from Egypt to the present (1940).


He has received numerous awards and recognitions in international haute couture exhibitions, including the International Fairs in Paris (1914) and London (1924). In 2018, in the first edition of the MODA-FAD Awards, tribute was paid to Carme Martí Riera, as a key figure in the history of fashion in our country.